The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

Back to School 2023

Students, parents and educators have returned to the classroom for the 2023-2024 school year. This year, Catholic schools will grapple with a multitude of challenges and opportunities, including the LEARNS Act, the national teacher shortage, meal plans and more. 


Four schools welcome new leadership this school year

Arkansas Catholic Staff, Published: August 23, 2023   

FORT SMITH — Immaculate Conception Dr. Katie Kreimer Hall Hometown: Blue Springs, Mo. Colleges and majors: Missouri State University, Springfield, Mo, bachelor’s degree in community recreation and master’s degree in special education; Southwest Baptist University, Bolivar, Mo, specialist’s degree in educational leadership and doctorate in educational leadership Educational experience: Republic School District, Republic Mo, special education teacher and volleyball coach, four years; Morrison Elementary, Fort Smith, special education teacher, one year; Sutton Elementary School, Fort Smith, assistant principal, two More... 

Ark. Catholic schools grapple with teacher shortage

By Katie Zakrzewski, Published: August 22, 2023   

With two weeks before the start of the 2023-2024 school year, some Catholic schools were struggling to fill teacher vacancies.  A pre-pandemic report on the teacher shortage from the Learning Policy Institute predicted that by 2025, there would be approximately 316,000 teacher vacancies.  But following the COVID-19 pandemic, economic hardship and school violence, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there are more than one million teacher vacancies in the United States. Seven percent of instructors (233,000 More... 

Schools prepare for 1st year with LEARNS Act in place

By Katie Zakrzewski, Published: August 21, 2023   

Catholic schools in Arkansas are preparing for changes as a result of the LEARNS Act.  Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed the act into law March 8. The law sets a $50,000 annual minimum salary for new public school teachers and creates a new voucher program called Educational Freedom Accounts (EFA), which allows families to choose the school that’s best for their children, regardless of income.  Theresa Hall, superintendent for Catholic schools in Arkansas, has been helping school More... 

2023-2024 School Calendar

By Arkansas Catholic Staff, Published: August 18, 2023   

The 2023-2024 calendar for Catholic schools in Arkansas was released by the Office of Catholic Schools.   Aug. 16: First day of school Sept. 4: Labor Day, school closed* Sept. 29: Professional Day for teachers, school closed* Nov. 20-24: Thanksgiving break, school closed Dec. 21-29: Christmas break, school closed Jan. 15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, school closed* Feb. 19: Presidents Day, school closed* March 18-22: Spring break, school closed* March 29: Good Friday, school closed* May 24: Last day of school   The calendar includes no snow More... 

Excellent Catholic schools must follow document

By Theresa Hall, Published: August 17, 2023   

In late July, the principals of the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Little Rock gathered at the peaceful Coury House at Subiaco Abbey for our annual retreat. Father Stephen Gadberry inspired us with his words and wisdom. The theme was that the principals are both the salt and the light of their schools.  Dr. John James from St. Louis University provided us with his expertise on utilizing the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic More...